It’s that time of the season when we’re linked with players no one has ever heard of and there is just a poor-quality YouTube compilation to go by for judging whether they’re going to be any good or not. After what became something of a shambles in the summer, the club’s transfer policy will need to be back on form if we’re going to safely climb away from the drop zone and achieve our goal of a second successive top-ten Premier League finish.
Strikers are top of the agenda for Big Sam, and there are loads to choose from. Of course, transfer and wage budgets are going to be a problem, but there are going to be a number of steals to be had over the winter, not to mention the loan deals that could be done. Here is ten strikers I think Allardyce should be looking at ahead of the window opening on January 1. They’re not in any order of preference, just ten players that I think could fill the void left by Andy Carroll – and could potentially support him once he’s fit – during our current “crisis in front of goal.”
Demba Ba (Chelsea)
Ba was the subject of a failed attempt to bring him back to East London in the summer, but he is expected to finally leave Stamford Bridge in January after rarely featuring under Jose Mourinho at Chelsea. His goalscoring heroics almost kept us in the Premier League a few years ago and, although we’re not quite in the same position this time around, we could really do with his Premier League goalscoring exploits once again.
Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders)
We all know what he can bring to side after his spells with Fulham and Spurs, so there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be interested in him. It emerged earlier this week that he has a clause in his Seattle contract that allows him to go out on loan during the MLS off-season, which means we can expect him to come back to England between January and March. Dempsey would offer us an extra attacking edge behind the striker, or even as a striker, and could potentially keep Kevin Nolan out of the side for a while if the skipper continues to go quiet during games.
Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna)
This relatively unknown 22- year-old has been in fine form for Rapid Vienna, scoring 20 league goals in 43 appearances since joining the club from Borussia Dortmund last year. The USA international would no doubt welcome a move to the Premier League and, at 6ft 2in, could fit nicely in to Big Sam’s style of football.
Emmanuel Adebayor (Tottenham Hotspur)
Why not? It’s a well known fact that his Spurs career is over and he’ll be looking to end what he has called the “lowest point of his career” as quickly as possible when January arrives. He has Premier League experience and we all know he’s capable of scoring important goals. However, his wage demands will obviously be a stumbling block, meaning a loan spell until the end of the season is the most likely, if anything at all. Felipe Caicedo
The former Manchester City striker was linked with a move to the Hammers in the summer. The 25-year-old Ecuadorian only scored five Premier League goals in 27 appearances between 2008 and 2011 for City, but has impressed during loan spells in La Liga with Malaga and Levante in previous seasons.
Jermain Defoe (Tottenham Hotspur)
Love him or hate him, he’s already hinted at a move back to Upton Park and there’s no doubt he’ll provide the answer to our goalscoring woes but, will he fit in to Allardyce’s preferred style of play? A recent poll we did on West Ham World showed that most fans will welcome him back with open arms, which should give the club’s superiors some comfort should they decide to make Spurs an offer.
Alfred Finnbogason (Heerenveen)
This 24-year-old striker is taking the Eredivisie by storm at the moment. He netted 24 goals in his first year at the Dutch side last season, becoming the highest scoring Icelandic player ever in a top division in any country, and has already scored 16 goals in 13 league appearances this campaign.
Ola Toivonen (PSV)
The 27-year-old Swedish international has been linked with a move to the Premier League in recent weeks. He has netted 60 league goals in 136 appearances for PSV which means his £5million price-tag cannot be sniffed at in January, and Big Sam would be a fool not to investigate further.
Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn Rovers)
For the third transfer window running, Rhodes has to be one of the first names on Allardyce’s list of players to buy. He was prolific with Huddersfield – 87 goals in 148 appearances – and has continued that form with Blackburn, netting 37 goals in 64 outings. The 23-yearold is surely on the verge of a move to the Premier League.
Niklas Bendtner (Arsenal)
Maybe not a priority purchase, by any means, but certainly a player that Allardyce could get the best out of. He hasn’t been given a proper chance at Arsenal and would perhaps welcome a fresh start where he could play regularly. We’ve seen the Danish striker produce goals on the biggest stage, so there’s no reason why he couldn’t do it for us.